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People today expect to be connected always and everywhere; sometimes it’s hard to believe that there was a world before smartphones and Wi-Fi. In the time since Wi-Fi became ubiquitous in hotels, apartments, and public spaces, it has fueled the evolution of connectivity in a lot of ways. Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the most basic needs start at the bottom, and you can’t get to the next level without a strong foundation. 

By now, everyone is aware that hotel giant Marriott International announced on Friday a massive data breach that goes back more than four years and may have affected up to 500 million customers worldwide. 

After two years of preparation, the FlyZoo Hotel — a futuristic property that uses interactive technologies to do everything from greet guests to deliver room service — is ready for business. 

Mobile technology is fast becoming central to the entire travel experience. Consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to research trips, book accommodation, check in at the airport, and access their hotel room. But one of the next big roles mobile has to play in the travel process is mobile payment. The idea of an entirely cashless society might still seem some way off, but mobile payment is gaining popularity. As it becomes more widely used, its fast and frictionless nature will bring benefits before, during and after a trip. 

Digital marketing, also known as internet marketing, plays a significant role to boost hotel website traffic and online bookings. Recently, many big announcements were made in the digital industry, for example when Facebook introduced a new video format for marketers, or when Google announced a board core algorithm. If you are a new hotelier and want to stay ahead in the industry, then you should know what’s going on in the hotel digital marketing industry. 
 



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Hotel Industry: When it comes to Data Breach Incidents – Follow the Money Focus on the POS

04/22/2015

Verizon released its 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) this month and extended an exclusive preview to Hospitality Upgrade including an interview with one of the authors, Jay Jacobs, the senior analyst and DBIR co-author with Verizon.  HU asked Jacobs to cut through the more than 60-page report and share what this year’s investigation means to the hotel industry.

In its 10th year, the report looks at year-over-year trends. Overall the trends did not change much from the 2014 report.  What was new in this year’s evaluation is a formulation for the cost of a breach and a look at incidents involving mobile devices.

Understanding the Mobile Space

Infected mobile devices were very scarce.  Android devices seemed to be infected more often than iOS devices, with an inference that iPhones® have better inherent security. Annoying software is the predominate type of infections seen on mobile devices but these attacks are not malicious in nature. According to the investigation, mobile device attack was still not the preferred method of attack.

The equivalent of less than 0.03% of mobile devices are compromised by malware each year.

Message for Hoteliers – Secure the POS

As in previous years the top three industries affected remained public, information and financial services with a combined 66 percent of the number of security incidents compiled in the report.  The hospitality industry (chart listed – accommodations) was listed as sixth overall for the number of security incidents reported. (See Figure 2 above.)

However, within the hotel industry a staggering 91 percent of those incidents reported involved a malware attack at the point of sale. Attacks on the hotel industry were overwhelmingly financially motivated. In other industries, such as healthcare, for example, the motivation for a cyber attack is overwhelmingly for personal information. When asked what should the hotel industry take away from this year’s report, without hesitation Jacobs said, “The hotel industry should focus exclusively on the point-of-sale system.”

Of the nearly 80,000 security incidents analyzed this year the researchers pointed to nine threat patterns that have remained an effective approach to fighting cyberthreats.  The nine patterns are: Miscellaneous errors, such as sending an email message to the wrong person; crimeware (malware to gain control of a system); insider or privilege misuse; physical theft or loss; Web app attacks; denial of service attacks; cyber espionage; point-of-sale intrusions; and payment card skimmers.

The Cost of a Breach

In this year’s report Verizon analysts have devised a new model to estimate the financial impact of a cyber breach and provides a prediction of the cost of a breach. In a release issued by Verizon, the analysts reported that, “The cost-per-record stolen is directly affected by the type of data and total number of records compromised.”

Mike Denning, vice president of global security for Verizon Enterprise Solutions said, “We believe this new model for estimating the cost of a breach is groundbreaking, although there is definitely still room for refinement. We now know that it’s rarely, if ever, less expensive to suffer a breach than put the proper defense in place.”

Click here for a link to the full Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report.

A slideshow by Verizon is available by clicking here.

About the Data Breach Investigations Report

The extensive 2015 report is the culmination of 70 contributing organizations representing 61 countries and 79,790 security incidents. The investigative report looked through 2,122 confirmed data breaches.

About The Author
Geneva Rinehart
SVP, Managing Editor
Hospitality Upgrade


Geneva Rinehart is the managing editor at Hospitality Upgrade. For two decades, she has followed the world of hospitality technology. On occasion she will chronicle hospitality technology issues, technology trends, and new technologies for Hospitality Upgrade on LinkedIn and Twitter: @genevarinehart

 
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